Isaac Ben-Israel was born in Israel (Tel-Aviv), 1949. He studied Mathematics, Physics and Philosophy at Tel-Aviv University, receiving his Ph.D. in 1988. He joined the Israel Air Force (IAF) after graduating high school (1967) and has served continuously up to his retirement (2002). During his service, Isaac Ben-Israel has held several posts in operations, intelligence and weapon development units of the IAF. He headed the IAF Operations Research Branch, Analysis and Assessment Division of IAF Intelligence, and was the Head of Military R&D in Israel Defence Forces and Ministry of Defence (1991-1997). In January 1998 he was promoted to Major General and appointed as Director of Defence R&D Directorate in IMOD. During his service he received twice the Israeli Defence Award.
After retirement from the IDF Isaac Ben Israel joined the University of Tel-Aviv as a professor and was the head of Curiel Centre for International Studies (2002-2004), the head of the Program for Security Studies (2004-2007), Executive Director of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Technological Analysis & Forecasting at Tel-Aviv University (ICTAF) (2010-2013), Deputy Director of the Hartog School of Government and Policy in Tel-Aviv University (2005-2015) and a member of Jaffe Centre for Strategic Studies (2002-2004). In 2002 he founded and headed the Yuval Ne’eman Workshop for Science, Technology and Security. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Ariel University Centre (2009-2011), and a member of the advisory council of Neaman Institute for Advanced Studies in Science and Technology at the Technion (2000-2010). In 2002 he founded RAY-TOP (Technology Opportunities) Ltd, consulting governments and industries in technological and strategic issues.
Professor Ben-Israel was a member of the 17th Knesset (Israeli Parliament) between June 2007 and February 2009. During this period he was a member of the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, the Finance Committee, the Science & Technology committee, the Chairman of the Homeland Security Sub Committee and the Chairman of the Israeli–Indian Parliamentary Friendship Association.
In 2011 he was appointed by the Prime Minister to lead a task force that formulated Israel national cyber policy. Following that he founded the National Cyber Headquarters in the PM Office. In 2014 he was appointed again by the PM to lead another task force which resulted in a government decision (February 2015) to set up a new National Cyber Authority. Isaac Ben Israel was a member of the board of directors of IAI (2000-2002), the board of the Israel Corp. (2004-2007) and the R&D advisory board of TEVA (2003-2007) and Chairman of the Technion Entrepreneurial Incubator (2007). He was the Chairman of Israel National R&D council between 2010-2016.
Professor Ben-Israel has written numerous papers on military and security issues. His book Dialogues on Science and Military Intelligence (1989) won the Itzhak-Sade Award for Military Literature. His book on The Philosophy of Military Intelligence had been published by the Broadcast University (1999) and has been translated into French (2004). His book Science, Technology and Security: From Soldiers in Combat up to Outer Space, was published in 2006. His book on Israel Defence Doctrine was published in 2013.
Isaac is married to Inbal (née Marcus) and they have three sons: Yuval (1981), Roy (1984) and Alon (1988).